- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)44
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Supreme court rules on state estate taxes
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- In a precedent-setting decision, the Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that taxpayers exempt from federal estate taxes should also be exempt from similar state taxes.
The decision Tuesday overturned a ruling of an administrative hearing commission in a single case. But it will force the Department of Revenue to change the way it handles estate taxes, said agency director Carol Fischer.
"It will result in a loss of money to the state. However, we don't think it will be substantial," Fischer said. "The circumstance where you have no federal tax is somewhat unusual."
A 1980 Missouri tax law links the state estate tax to the federal one. The state, in essence, gets to receive a portion of the money that otherwise would go to the federal government, the court said in its ruling.
The decision focused on the case of Mary S. Riethmann, a beneficiary of her father, who died in 1995. Riethmann inherited nearly $22.5 million and the benefits of a $1 million trust.
Her father's estate paid federal and state taxes, including about $8 million to the Missouri government.
Riethmann died less than two years later, leaving an estate that consisted primarily of what she inherited from her father. Because of the close timing of the deaths, the daughter's trust received a federal tax credit for all the property she had inherited, and the Internal Revenue Service concluded that the trust owed no federal estate taxes.
The state Department of Revenue, however, sought nearly $3.4 million in taxes and interest and $157,500 in penalties.